By 6:15am, I had reached the fog covered entrance and shortly thereafter, made my way into the ruins. To be honest, the first hour and a half did not provide much visibility to the site (though I did have a nice encounter with a pack of llamas). So in the interim, I made my way toward what is known as the "Sun Gate," about a 45 min trek away from Machu Picchu where the Inka's originally entered the site from. And it was from this location that I just so happened to run into my LA friends making their way into the ruins which was a bit surreal of a situation - to first meetup with them halfway across the world at Machu Picchu.
As the day progressed, little by little, the sun began to peer through the clouds until you could look down on Machu Picchu and truly realize just how hidden it had always been from the rest of the world – it really was an amazing site to see first hand and something I'd highly recommend to experience in person.
While I wasn't able to partake in the full Inka Trail with my friends, I had signed up in advance to hike Huayna Picchu, the large mountain you see in the background of just about any picture of Machu Picchu (in recent years, Peru has put strict limitations on the number of visitors as it relates to Macchu Picchu: 500 per day can hike the Inka trail, 400 per day can hike Huayna Picchu and 2,500 overall per day are allowed within the ruins).